I hear all kinds of reasons why people “could neeeeeever eat like” me, and expense is in the top three. A veganish diet is not expensive, I promise. If it is, you’re doing it wrong (walk away from the Annie’s freezer section). The average American family spends $7,000 a year on food! Our current grocery bill is way cheaper than when we ate a more Standard American Diet, and that’s with two kids! Let’s jump into how I save money on groceries while eating healthy af.
1. Plan Before You Shop
Walking into a Sephora without a plan is a pleasure cruise. Walking into a super market without a plan is a disaster. You’re hungry, the kids are rambunctious, and throwing a frozen pizza into the oven seems more tempting than it should. But you’ve came prepared. You have a meal plan.
And with it, you’ve created a grocery list. Write everything down. Walk through the grocery in your head and write down the ingredients you need for your meal plan in the order you’ll encounter them in the store. Now you won’t find yourself next to a tempting endcap trying to figure out what’s for dinner on Thursday.
2. Earn Cash Back and Rewards While You Shop
I don’t clip coupons. I don’t have the patience for the hunt of it. Instead I pull out my credit card and know I’m earning 6% cash back just by shopping. Yes, 6% cash back! Our average grocery bill is $110 a week, with the 6% cash back at grocery stores from the card, I earn about $350 in cash back every year. That’s three weeks’ worth of groceries just for using my credit card instead of my debit card.
I use the American Express Blue Cash Preferred credit card to earn the 6% cash back at grocery stores. I also get 3% cash back at gas stations and 1% anywhere else. There is an annual fee—it’s $95—but the rewards earned more than pays for the annual fee. If you’d like, you can use my promo code to apply for your own American Express Blue Cash Preferred card and I’ll get a small reward too! Even if you don’t have this card, using any rewards credit card for your shopping is a better deal than a debit card.
3. Buy by the Season
Fresh blueberries in December is a delicacy afforded by our modern society, but don’t make it a staple of your winter menus. Those blueberries were grown in Chile and flown to your local store. Wait until June or July when you can get more locally grown blueberries; there’s no need to pay for a fruit’s airfare. By planning your meals based on the cost of available ingredients, you’ll not only save money on groceries, you’ll also get fruits and vegetables when they’re at their peak tastiness.
4. Don’t Be Afraid of Left Overs
I love finding new recipes on blogs or in books, but I always make too much. That new recipe was made to feed six, and I’m terrible at fractions, so I make enough to feed six. By saving the leftovers, I don’t waste food that I’ve spent good money on. I’m now ahead and have lunch for the next day! It’s easy to turn on the oven and heat up last night’s potato carrot bake while I feed Little A. By the time he’s finished, there’s a warm, healthy lunch for Big A and me.
5. Eat Less Meat—Or No Meat at All!
We don’t buy meat in our house, so that’s a great savings right there. Ground beef is easily $4 to $5 a pound! Chicken, pork, etc. is just as much. Eating meat for every meal will bloat you and your grocery bill in no time. Don’t want to give up meat? Ok, but why not start by eating and buying less. Find a vegan (or veganish) recipe and make it once a week instead of a meat dish. If you normally eat meat, you can easily trim $30 off of your weekly grocery bill by going meatless two days a week.
How do you save money on groceries? Let me know in the comments below. Share this article so you won’t forget these ideas.